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Stephen Jones – You can keep your hat on (Monday April 4, 2011 New Fragrance Listing)

The excitement around the wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William is starting to take on a life of its own. I expected to see the media drumming it up and die-hard anglophiles getting caught up in it, but over the past week clients, friends and pals are all talking about it – what a great couple they make, what a great love story, who’s designing the wedding dress, etc.

Just after their wedding was announced I was asked to save the date. Oh, I wasn’t invited to the wedding at Westminster Abbey. No, my name was left off that invitation list along with Sarah Fergusons’s. What I have been invited to is a gathering of gals who are getting up early on the day of to watch it live on TV with tea, scones and appropriate dress (i.e. PJs and hats).

I enjoy any excuse to get together with friends and have some fun so I’m looking forward to it. Problem is, I’m not much of a tea drinker and I look lousy in a hat. It’s true. Even Kay who is the very definition of loyalty would say, “That’s not true. You’re just being hard on yourself.” Until she sees me with one on and then she can’t look me in the eye when she says “No, really it’s not that bad. Here, let’s try pushing it forward…to the side…further back…inside out..” Sigh.

Googling the royal family for inspiration my heart lightened when I saw fascinators – you know those veil-y things with feathers sticking out of them that women wear instead of hats. They might do for some, but I don’t want to look like I just coughed up a bird. Sigh.

There’s nothing for it but to go to the best: Stephen Jones, OBE, influential British milliner who has designed hats for fashion designers like Jean-Paul Gaulthier, Thierry Mugler and royalty like Princess Diana. Only I won’t be wearing any of his hats, I’ll be wearing his eponymous perfume.

That’s right, his perfume. In 2008 Steven Jones partnered up with Comme des Garçons to make a perfume. And what a beauty it is.

It opens with a shock of intense violet and cold aldehydes – wow - gorgeous from the start. At the heart, the violet gets more intense while clove adds a note of spiciness and warmth. Carnation, rose, jasmine and heliotrope bolster the floral aspect of the violet while vetiver gives it a slight green note. On me there is also the smell of something smoldering or burning – divine! Guaiac wood and amber keep it dry and give it a lovely smoothness at the base, but it never loses it coldness and it never gets sweet. This is my favourite violet frag of all. So stunning, it seems more the result of magic or mad science than chemistry.

OK, so with the hat situation sorted, the whole wedding watching thing is starting to come together – there’s just the tea and scones. Well, the tea. Gack. Hmmm, maybe gin and tonics could stand in for the tea, I mean it’s gonna be 5:00 pm somewhere, isn’t it?

Stephen Jones is listed in our Decant Store. Decants are $8.00 for 1 ml.